MP3: Pulp Discography - Part Three: Masters Of The Universe (1985-1987)
After the release of their post It single Everybody's Problem, the original lineup of Pulp split up and every member except Jarvis left Sheffield to go to University. After a short break he reformed the band with a new lineup featuring a few people who would go on to be members of Pulp until their split in 2002. The full lineup was Jarvis Cocker (vocals), Russell Senior (violin, guitar, vocals), Magnus Doyle (drums), Peter Mansell (bass), and Candida Doyle (keyboards). Following their first gig with Candida the band were signed to Fire Records, and proceeded to release two non album singles, Little Girl (With Blue Eyes) and Dogs Are Everywhere. These singles and their bsides would be compiled many years later on 1994's Masters Of The Universe. That comp also featured 2 singles (plus bsides) from the Freaks era, but i'll look at those when I look at Freaks itself.
Little Girl (With Blue Eyes) is thought by a lot of fans to be the first truly great Pulp single. Personally i'd say their debut (My Lighthouse) would hold that honour, but Girl is certainly a good one, and the first single to showcase elements of the bands sound that would come to personify them in later years. Released in December 1985, it's got the first hints of Jarvis' sick sick mind (with the lyric "Little girl with blue eyes, there's a hole in your heart/And one between your legs/You've never had to wonder which one he's going to fill"). Because of this it was banned from the radio, but still somehow managed to get Melody Maker Single of the Week. But where are those keyboards Candida? As for the bsides, Simultaneous is a bit of a mess, showing off the bands new artier side that would be more fully explored on Freaks. Blue Glow is one of my favourites, and I prefer it to the single itself. The strings are very reminiscent of Nick Cave, and the piano is lovely. Very intense. Finally we have The Will To Power, a bizarre Nietschian parody of fascism sung/spoken by Russell Senior. Has to be heard to believed. Overall an interesting EP but not a high point in the bands career, probably because this lineup was still trying to find it's creative feet. More info on this single here.
Much better in my opinion was the followup, June 1986's Dogs Are Everywhere. Some of Jarvis' first observational lyricism tied to a great tune and some very nice backing vocals on the chorus. Again though I have to say I prefer some of the bsides to this release. The Mark Of The Devil is extremely important to the bands development, being their first foray into disco, and showcasing Russell's great rhythmic violin that would later add so much to Different Class. Great stuff! 97 Lovers has some nice lyrics about having sex with Roger Moore, again demonstrating how Jarvis was really starting to find his niche (which, Americans, is pronounced neesh. Not nitch. It drives ME INSANE. Ahem). The only problem is that it's too dirgey for words and the vocal performance is lacking. The same can be said of Aborigine, good lyrics, shitty music. More interesting is the rather odd finishing track on this EP, Goodnight, a sort of twisted lullaby that contains Jarvis first real monologue, laying the roots for later tracks like Sheffield: Sex City, Acrylic Afternoons and F.E.E.L.I.N.G.C.A.L.L.E.D.L.O.V.E. More info on this single can be found here, or look here for information on the whole Masters compilation.
The mp3s i've chosen to put up are Blue Glow, cos I think it's better than the single it backs, Will To Power because it's hilarious to think that its Pulp, Dogs for historical purposes, plus The Mark Of The Devil and Goodnight because they showcase pretty important points in the bands development. Hope you enjoy them. For more Pulp info, check out the links I included in the first part of this series.
Download: Blue Glow - MP3 2.12mb (rapidshare)
Download: The Will To Power - MP3 2.35mb (rapidshare)
Download: Dogs Are Everywhere - MP3 3.36mb (rapidshare)
Download: The Mark Of The Devil - MP3 3.24mb (rapidshare)
Download: Goodnight - MP3 4.70mb (rapidshare)
Discography: (click to buy @ amazon.co.uk)
His 'N' Hers (1994)
Masters Of The Universe (1994)
Different Class (1995)
This Is Hardcore (1998)
We Love Life (2001)
Truth And Beauty